Instareads: App Review

So, I have come across this interesting new resource for readers and bloggers, so I thought I would take a moment to share it with you!

It is an app called Instareads.  The Instareads app takes book summarys (previously available on Amazon for around $2.50 each) and provides their unlimited library to you for $2.99 per month.

Instareads is such a great concept!  Basically, each book is summed up in a few pages, and then each chapter has its own summary.  The instareads library has a huge selection of fiction, non-fiction, self-help books, science-related books, biographies and more.  The summaries in each of these genres provide a different resource for a different audience.

If you are a book blogger, you can use the fiction section (or virtually any section, for that matter) to refresh your mind about a specific book before you review it.

If you are looking for a book on a particular subject – from science to business to history – these summaries are more in depth than Amazon blurbs, but you don’t have to take the time to seek out and flip through the book to find out if it is what you are looking for.

For the biographies and autobiographies, these summaries provide a fantastic overview of someone’s life, choosing to highlight the most important details from the book – saving you the trouble of reading through yourself.

With that said, I would like to break this app down into its pros and cons for your consideration:  (:

Pros:

  • Fantastic resource for bloggers, or anyone doing general research
  • Clear, concise summaries
  • Large selection of popular, new releases
  • User friendly
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Limited selection of older, classic books.  (I realize that the purpose of this app is to provide summaries of current releases, but I think it would be a great platform for the classics as well)
  • This app might be confused with an avenue through which you can read fiction books.  It is not.  Reading the summary of non-fiction, scientific books before you have read the original?  That is fine.  But DO NOT read the summary of The Fault in Our Stars (as an example) unless you have read the book, and are using the summary strictly as a refresher.
  • Room for improvement.  This is true with all new apps – but little things, like a flaw in the menu option, and the voice over not working on iPad are little areas that could be improved to make this app more effective.

 

So…. is it worth $2.99 per month, you ask?  That is a question that you will have to answer yourself.  They do provide a month long trial, if you would like to give it a try before purchasing a subscription.  However, this would be my advice.  If you are strictly a fiction reader – I would skip this app.  As I mentioned, it is not to be used as a fiction reading replacement.  But if you are a blogger or you are looking for a research resource – or even if you are trying to choose books to purchase for a library, this app would be an excellent investment.

Thank you for taking the time to read this little review.  As I hope you all know – I do not choose to review a book or service that I don’t find interesting, and I try to make my reviews relevant to my readers as well.  If there is something out there – an app, or any kind of product – that you would like to see my opinion, please let me know and I will gladly consider it!

 

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2016 Bookish Goals

Good afternoon book friends 🙂  I hope you all are having a happy Wednesday!  I just wanted to start out by saying thank you to everyone who has followed, commented, or reached out to me through email since I started this little blog a few weeks ago.  You all just make me so very happy!

Today, I though I would share with you a few of the book-related goals I have for myself and for this blog in the new year.  I have seen just how fast a new blog can grow in a very short amount of time – and I want to form a game plan, so that I can take full advantage of the incredible adventure this little blog will take me on in 2016 🙂  So here we go:

  1. Read (at least) 50 books (yay for my first ever Goodreads challenge!)
  2. Reach 500 bookstagram followers
  3. Review at least one self-published/indie book each month.  This is where you all come in!  If you are an author (or you know of one) with a newly released, independent book, I would love to support you!  To submit a book for review, email me at mylittlebluelibrary@gmail.com.
  4. Host my first ever bookish giveaway (either here on the blog, or my bookstagram)
  5. Make some fabulous new friends through my blogging journey who genuinely understand this passion for books 🙂
  6. Become a regular book reviewer for a small publishing company.
  7. Finish writing (and maybe even editing) my current WIP novel, Stealing Forever.  (This novel is a loose Peter Pan retelling – let me know if any of you would like to see creative writing related posts, because I would love to share!)
  8. Go to a book signing to meet one of my (many!) favorite authors
  9. Maintain a consistent blog, posting (at the very least) once per week – sharing all of my favorite bookish news with all of you.
  10. Fill up my all the shelves of my first ever bookshelf (you can keep up with my programs on my bookstagram @littlebluelibrary.  I love sharing pictures of lovely new books!)

I know that I am a bit late in the game with this list – January is already nearly over!  What?  This year is going to fly by, and I can’t wait to see what fun adventures it brings!  What are your goals for the new year?  Let me know in the comments or through my email – I love interacting with all of you.  I think that each of my goals for this year can really be wrapped up into one ultimate goal – to grow in this book loving community.  I love that this community exists, and I am so happy that my little blog can be a part of it. ❤

 

 

 

2016: The Year of The Series

Hello all!  I hope you have had a fabulous start to your 2016.  I have personally spent the first full week of this year working 40 hours in a library.  Which was wonderful 🙂  Also, during those long hours in a library, I had lots of time to think about what books I want to spend my time reading this year.  I set my Goodreads goal at 50 books for this year, which may seem small, but this is the first year I have ever set a challenge like this for myself, and I have discovered that small goals are the best way to start.  Hopefully I will far surpass my little goal, but we shall see 🙂

When I was thinking about what fifty books I want to spend my year with, a lot of series kept popping into my mind.  So I thought I would share with you the top five series that are on my TBR list for this year, and why I am choosing to read (or reread) each one.

First up is the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.  As I am writing this post, I have already been through the first three of these books since the beginning of 2016 (another reason why working in a library is awesome.  Lots of reading time).  I originally read this series my sophomore into my junior year of high school, which is kind of ironic, because I am going to finish my sophomore year and start my junior year of college in 2016.  Also, since I read the series the first time, I have seen all of the movies several times – but I have never done the thing where you watch each movie as you finish each book.  So that’s what I am doing, and after finishing these first three books and movies, I can just say that I forgot how incredibly amazing this series is – and I am so excited to experience Harry Potter’s adventures again this year.

The next series is The Selection Series by Kiera Cass.  I just have such fond memories of these books.  I read them all as they came out, and I just want to reread all of the in preparation for the release of The Crown in March.

Next, I have The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  I recently discovered that I have not actually read all of these books.  I have read the books that became movies – but as a child, my family had these fantastic audio-books of the Narnia series, so I was content to listen to those.  I got the collection of Narnia books for Christmas, and I am so excited to dive into that series.  Also, I think it would be so amazing to be able to pass that collection of books on to my children some day.  There is just something so special about reading the same copy of a book that someone close to you also read.

The forth series on my list is a brand new series for me, and one that I have heard such good things about from the booktube/bookblog community.  And that is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas.  I had never read any of her books until I discovered A Court of Thorns and Roses (which, unfortunately I was reading from my library back home – but I had to return it before I came back to school.  I ended up buying it for myself but I have not picked it up again because Harry Potter.  But, all that to say, it is fantastic so far).  I came to love Sarah’s writing through that book – and I have really been getting into high fantasy in the past few months, so I am very excited to dive into this new-to-me series.

The last series on my list is The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  I read the triology a very, very long time ago – before there was even talk of a movie.  I remember loving it, and I was so happy with the first movie – because so much of it was just how I pictured in the book (not so much in the second movie tho…).  I want to relive this series, mostly just so that I can picture Dylan O’Brien’s face as Thomas, but also just because it is so different from most of the books on my TBR list this year.

What book or series on your TBR are you most excited to read in 2016?  It is going to be a fabulous year for books!